Crude oil and natural gas production in Texas both showed gains in December from year-ago levels, and 2013 production of oil was up significantly while natural gas production declined from 2012 levels, according to preliminary data from the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC).
In 2013, total Texas reported production was 704 million bbl of oil and 7.7 Tcf of natural gas, based on preliminary figures for December, compared with 600 million bbl of oil and 8.07 Tcf of natural gas in the year-ago period.
Preliminary December crude oil production averaged 1.80 million b/d, up from 1.41 million b/d in December 2012. The preliminary crude oil production figure for December is 55.72 million bbl, up from 43.82 million bbl a year ago.
Oil and gas wells produced 552.75 Bcf of gas based upon preliminary figures for December, up from the year-ago preliminary total of 523.34 Bcf. Preliminary December gas production averaged 17.83 Bcf/d. The production came from 153,549 oil wells and 89,260 gas wells.
The RRC's estimated final production for December 2013 is 64.31 million bbl of crude oil and 534.42 Bcf of gas well gas. The corresponding final year-ago figures are 55.99 million bbl and 558.59 Bcf, respectively.
Final production estimates are derived by multiplying the preliminary December production totals of 55.72 million bbl of crude oil and 440.39 Bcf of gas well gas by a production adjustment factor of 1.1543 for crude oil and 1.2135 for gas well gas. Production totals do not include casinghead gas or condensate.
Casinghead gas production last year was more than double the level it was just four years ago, according to RRC data. In December casinghead gas production was 112.36 Bcf. While that was down from December 2012's production of 117.82 Bcf, the annual total for 2013 was 1.48 Tcf, up from 1.24 Tcf in 2012 and 696.26 Bcf in 2009.
While well permitting was down in January from a year ago, well completions were up strongly from January 2013 as operators continue to focus on bringing inventoried wells online.
In January operators reported 3,131 oil, 398 gas, 72 injection well and six other completions compared to 1,114 oil, 351 gas, 50 injection well and five other completions in January 2013. Total well completions for 2014 year to date are 3,607 up from 1,520 recorded during the same period in 2013.
The commission issued 1,791 original drilling permits in January compared to 1,978 in January 2013. The latest tally included 1,577 permits to drill new oil and gas wells, 45 to re-enter existing well bores and 169 for re-completions. Permits issued in January included 515 oil, 121 gas, 1,086 oil and gas, 59 injection, one service and nine other permits.
The Texas average rig count as of Feb. 21 was 843, representing about 50% of all active land rigs in the United States.